Recently I reported on my struggle to correct the third hand smoke entry on Wikipedia (see here). The public source had the same alarmism that only the anti-smoking groups (and even some of them were embarrassed by this nonsense) and the media seemed to promote with most everyone seeing this as too fantastic to consider in any sense. Typically you would read an online news report about this new danger by reporters who failed to actually look at the actual study (for example Roni Rabin at the NYT who apparently teaches journalism and yet does not check sources) and then read comment after comment from average folks who saw right through the bad science and the writers who were crying wolf.
My initial results were discouraging but ultimately ended in success. Despite misgivings, this ended in third hand smoke being temporarily removed and possibly returning simply as a reference to a concept rather than as a fact. So I tentatively respect the Wikipedia process.
However third hand smoke was an easy battle; passive smoking in general would be the true test. I have heard from others who have tried to tackle that one that it is impossible, worse than the travails of Sisyphus, an unwinnable war against the zeitgeist that promotes sloppy science and unwarranted extrapolations when it comes to tobacco.
However, one small step….